Redmi 5 is the latest smartphone from Xiaomi, the number one smartphone vendor in India. The company is playing aggressive this year with successive launches in the first quarter itself. Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 series was introduced in February this year, and Xiaomi quickly followed it up with Redmi 5. In a space where there is intense competition, Xiaomi is clearly taking no chances and making sure it has new products across the key price segments.
From a price point of Rs 7,999 to Rs 16,999, Xiaomi now has three new phones to offer to prospective customers.The Redmi Note 5 Pro is more for power user with better processor and dual rear camera on board, the Redmi Note 5 for those who want a good performance at affordable pricing. So where does Redmi 5 figure in this ever increasing list of Xiaomi phones? More importantly, how does Redmi 5 perform? Here’s our review.
Redmi 5 specifications
5.7-inch HD+ resolution (1440 x 720 pixels) | Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor | 2GB/3GB/4GB RAM + 16GB/32GB/64GB storage variants | 12MP rear camera +5MP front camera with LED flash | 3300 mAh battery | Android Nougat 7.1.2 with MIUI 9
Redmi 5 price in India
Rs 7,999 for 2GB RAM, Rs 8,999 for 3GB RAM and Rs 10,999 for 4GB RAM
Redmi 5 review
The ‘bezel-less’ display trend is no longer a trend, and has become an expected feature even on budget phone. Xiaomi has now introduced this on its budget Redmi phones with Redmi 5, Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro all sporting an 18:9 aspect ratio display. Still Xiaomi has been beaten by other players like Honor, Micromax, Infinix, which introduced their 18:9 aspect ratio display budget phones in India before the Chinese player.
It is fair to say that the Redmi phones are not entirely bezel-less phones. If you were thinking the Redmi 5 looks like the Mi Mix 2, I would say hold your imagination. The Redmi 5 has a bigger 5.7-inch display which is good to see, in comparison to last year’s Redmi 4, which had a smaller 5-inch display. The Redmi 5’s display resolution is HD+, and for those who want a full HD+ resolution, the Redmi Note 5 is the option to consider.
The thing about the Redmi 5 that does stand out is that the phone is lightweight and easy to use with one hand. I preferred the Redmi 5’s more acceptable 5.7-inch screen to the Redmi Note 5 which is now nearly 6-inches. Bezel or no bezel, I’m not the biggest fan of phones with big displays. Redmi 5 with its metal unibody design and compact style works quite well.
Redmi 5 review: What’s good?
First, let’s start with the obvious change on the Redmi 5, which is the display. The bezels are thinner, though not entirely gone. The display works quite well and icons, videos appear sharp. Colour reproduction is also good on Redmi 5’s LCD display. I had no trouble using it in bright sunlight, though one does need to crank up the brightness to full. The HD+ resolution display is good enough for YouTube, WhatsApp videos, etc. With Redmi 5, Xiaomi has also introduced in-screen buttons, though the bottom bezel is still quite prominent. On the sides, the bezels are really thin.
When it comes to performance, our review unit of Redmi 5 had 3GB RAM and 32GB storage on board. Is the fastest phone in the Redmi arsenal? Of course not, given the pricing but that does not mean performance is a problem. Redmi 5 can handle most daily tasks, including multi-tasking with various app, opening multiple tabs on Chrome. I did not encounter any freezing or lag on the device as well.
Games like Asphalt 8, Lara Croft Relic Run work just fine, though there is a lag in some instances and it is not certainly not as fast as the more expensive Redmi variants. Still, I would not say that my gaming experience was marred on Redmi 5 and for its budget price, this is good enough. There was no noticeable heating either with prolonged gaming.
The camera on the Redmi 5 is now 12MP (Redmi 4 had 13MP camera) while the front camera is still 5MP with a selfie flash now added as well. The Redmi 5’s camera is fast and autofocus works accurately. If you have ample lighting, the camera performs well and some of the pictures are quite nice, considering the price. There’s no noticeable over-saturation with colours like pink or yellow, which can be a problem on budget phones. But there are other issues, which I will discuss later.
Battery on Redmi 5 will easily last 10-12 hours with moderate to heavy usage. It scores around 9 hours plus on the PCMark test, which is impressive on paper.
Redmi 5 review: What’s not so good?
If one were to compare the camera with last year’s Redmi 4, I cannot say there’s a drastic difference between the two. With colours like pinks and reds, the Redmi 5 does not do well at all so keep that in mind and they tend to look particularly washed out. The selfie camera is still pretty average and the flash does not really improve things, especially when there is low-light.
Once again like Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro, Redmi 5 continues with Android Nougat 7.1.2 when rivals are launching phones with Android Oreo 8.1 on them. Xiaomi really needs to offer the latest OS for its users, and it is disappointing to see them not deliver on this front.
With Redmi 5, one obvious comparison with last year’s Redmi 4 will be the battery size. The older phone had 4100 mAh battery on board, while with the new device Xiaomi has reduced it to 3300 mAh. Once again, for users the Redmi Note 5 might end up being the better pick with its bigger battery.
Redmi 5 review: Verdict
It’s natural for users to be confused between Redmi Note 5 series and the new Redmi 5. Those on the older Redmi 4 might not see the point of an upgrade, unless a new display is all that one wants. Redmi 5 is a phone for those on a tight budget, who cannot pay more than Rs 9000 for a phone and want a good overall performance.
On that promise, Redmi 5 does deliver, and rather well. It has a new display, better processor and battery life, which is good enough to last for a day. The overall build quality and design are also value for money. However, for those who want more on performance, dual rear cameras, then Redmi Note 5 Pro or even the Honor 9 Lite are the phones to consider.